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2013 State of the State

In the annual State of the State speech, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn called on lawmakers to raise the minimum wage, ban assault weapons and allow online voter registration.

Full text of Gov. Quinn’s State of the State Speech 2013

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Gov Quinn touted his accomplishments of the last four years Wednesday in his State of the State address.

But the consensus among his opponents in Springfield is that it was a campaign speech, more about reelection and light on the biggest problem faced by his administration.

The speech had promises on education, health care and public safety, and invoked the tragic story of Hadiya Pendleton, the Chicago teen shot and killed last week.

Quinn wants Illinois’ minimum wage to increase from $8.25 to $10 an hour over the next four years. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, but Illinois’ rate has been higher for years. Business groups are likely to oppose such a change.

The Democratic governor also reiterate his support for gay marriage .Quinn called for a statewide ban on assault weapons and the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines. He wants to strengthen background checks and require gun owners to report lost or stolen guns to avoid so-called “straw purchasers.”

The governor also offered some of what he wants as the state moves toward allowing conceal carry following a federal appellate ruling that tossed out the state’s long standing ban.

Where the speech was short, critics say, was on issue #1, the out-of control pension problem crushing the state economy.

“Pat Quinn, with a legislature controlled by his own party, has done nothing in four years on our state’s biggest problem, which is pension reform,” said Republican Sen Kirk Dillard.

Even among Democrats, there are rumblings about the Governor’s vulnerability.  Even as he touts his reforms of the past four years, calls for an assault weapons ban and delivering what sounded like the first speech of a reelection campaign.

The  state pensions issue is a nearly $97 billion dollar problem that’s only getting worse. Failure to make a deal on them equals a major political liability for the governor.

Quinn mentioned his support for Senate Bill 1, a hybrid legislation proposed by the senate president that could lead to a bipartisan solution.

Full text of Gov. Quinn’s State of the State Speech 2013

-The Chicago Tribune Contributed to the report

In his third State of the State address Wednesday, Governor Pat Quinn is expected to detail the state’s troubled finances, and his hopes for making big social and political changes

The financial picture in Illinois doesn’t look good.  The state’s public employee pension fund is nearly $100 billion in debt and Illinois has the worst credit rating of any state.

But the governor is expected to try and put a positive spin on the state’s finances and call on state lawmakers to reform the pension system.

Quinn also is expected to propose open primary elections where voters don’t have to declare a party.

Gay marriage is also on the governor’s agenda.  Quinn is expected to support marriage equality.

The issue already is getting a push in the state senate.

There was heated debate before a vote on a same sex marriage bill by the senate executive committee on Tuesday.

The committee approved the bill by a vote of 9 to 5.

Senate President John Cullerton now hopes for a full vote on Valentine’s day.

Another idea in Springfield could lead to a new tax on sneakers.  State legislator Will Davis would like to see a quarter tax on athletic shoes.

The money would be used to help high school dropouts learn a trade or return to school.

But the idea is getting opposition from merchants in the industry who say the tax would only encourage people to shop online or out of state.

The governor’s address begins at noon.

A transcript of the Governor’s State of the State will be available on www.illinois.gov

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